Bill calls for Utah to be exempt from expanding Medicaid


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  • ken12s North Salt Lake, UT
    March 13, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Let's show those law makers in Washington that they can't force us rednecks Republicans in Utah that we just want to pay into this Medicaid plan but don't want any of our share back to help any needy in Utah. That will show them. At the same time maybe we should form our own country! Now there's an idea that should strike a cord here in the backwater country.

  • vdubbin' Ogden, UT
    March 12, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    @mcdougall: The statement that water systems, parks, and freeways are socialist is the most irresponsible form of hyperbole. You don't really believe that, do you? We all use the freeway, water system, etc, and we all pay for their creation and upkeep. Even the "very poor" who spend money on fuel, food, utilities, and so on. Moreover, those are examples of things that government simply oversees. You have to be able to see the difference between everyone paying for water, and me paying for someone with a cold to go to the ER. I know that socialism sounds like a good idea to many of you, but if you understood it for what it really is rather than this romanticized idea that seems to inhabit the dream world of every college student and inexperienced youth, you might rethink your position.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    March 11, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    So, let me get this straight. Some Legislator named Anderegg from Utah County is upset because Federal programs are inefficient. He hates inefficiency.

    So, he crafts a bill keeping us from getting Federal money on needed healthcare. If it passes, Utahans will suffer with less healthcare. But the Internal Revenue Code still expects us to pay Federal taxes financing healthcare for everyone else.

    So, we pay anyway. But we get no benefit.


  • RunAmuckMom Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    It seems health insurance companies charge an awful lot for coverage that they then limit or deny. They dictate what treatment regimens/procedures you can or can't have. They can dictate what doctors you visit. They are NOT health care "providers". I am naive and do not understand. Health care providers already pay for types of insurance for malpractice and such, so they are protected that way. Why can't the actual health care providers use a payment plan for billing based on income rather than by flat rating treatment/procedures? We already have to pay providers for the portion insurance doesn't cover. Wouldn't it be better to eliminate the middle guy (health insurance companies) who's goals are out to make a profit...who's interest is not based on the quality of care or treatment...who do not care about what you/family can afford? Utah is full of bargain hunters shopping at wholesale places in order to eliminate the middle man to get their dollars to stretch further. Why is the health care industry so different? Wouldn't this make a difference in health care cost problems?

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2013 10:06 p.m.

    Ok, treating the uninsured ends up costing more than Obamacare or increased Medicaid would. You can not turn away a person in the ER if they don't have insurance and we the texpayers get nailed with the bill anyway. Though I supposed allowing for a free market to dictate the costs by allowing healthcare to be purchases across state lines would be far too much to ask.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    The Health Insurance Industry is the most inefficient program. The waste that goes into administration and implementation of this money-guzzler should cause it extinction.

    It is simply obscene that most insurance companies spend a MINIMUM OF 30% of their premium income on administration. Medicare spends less than 10%.

    It is simply obscene that many health insurance companies pay their CEOs millions in salary and bonuses each year. Where does that money come from?

    On the other hand, the highest paid administrators of Medicare are paid a tiny fraction of the lavish pay scales of private CEOs.

  • perhaps Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    Anderegg seems to think that if we don't take our share of the money Congress is taxing us to pay for the Medicaid expansion then somehow we will not have to pay for those taxes. That is kind of like leaving the merchandise you paid for at the store and hoping they will magically send you a refund check.

    Perhaps he does not pay any federal taxes himself and so this is just hypothetical for him. I pay federal taxes and want as much of that money to come back to Utah as possible.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 8, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    I disagee with legislator who said the fight is lost, Obamacare is now the law of the land and the SCOTUS said it was constitutional.

    Slavery was once the law of the land and constitutional. Just because the SCOTUS has said it's OK and it is the law of the land does not mean you give up the fight.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    March 8, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    The legislature's decision means some of the poor will continue to die and many morewill continue to needlessly suffer. Right wing rhetoric and free market blather are no substitutes for treating the sick and afflicted.

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    @Rudedog We already have socialized medicine here in Utah. Each time you pay your medical/insurance bills a portion of your billed amount will pay for services people received who are unable to pay. Also, if you are so adamant against socialism, please stop using the freeways, sidewalks, parks, water system, etc.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    March 7, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    Re: Everyone

    RN4moms is right. My sister has to go through this re-qualifying stuff now all the time. Something she did not have to do before Obama. And she is getting turned down on procedures that her doctors recommmend. Death panels anyone? I think that no matter how bad some of our medical care might have been before Obamacare, it is getting worse now. And a lot of Obamacare has not even gone into effect yet. This is a case of the cure is worse than the disease. "Affordable care?"can you think of a bigger oxymoron?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 7, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    To "JustAnotherBrat" actually you are wrong. The easiest way to lower costs is to get the government out of the way. Look at the medical system as a whole. We currently don't have enough doctors to properly handle everybody right now. So, when you add another 40 million to the system, that will increase the cost to see a doctor because their time is now more valuable. Plus, you have more people competing for the limited resources beyond face time with the doctor.

    How do you plan on handling those issues without cutting care? The European model says that you limit the treatments and medications. The asian model would limit how often you can see a doctor. You realize that in Switzerland they spend nearly as much as the US, but still fall short on the ability of the US system to respond to illness.

  • L Central, Utah
    March 7, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    Some have suggested the alternative of uninshured going to the Emergency Room. Have you been to a busy ER lately and noticed what they chargefor the same service that could have been provided by a clinic or Dr. office for 1/3 the cost. If you are not paying for it ..... no problem!

    If those who do not have have access to "free" ER's, whose lawn do they curl up on to die. Maybe we could get a card with certain legislators address printed.

    Another effect is the impression that Utah is a good place to live, I have talked to several out-of-staters who have questioned if they even want to visit here because of our crazy laws & have questioned how much love we have for each other despite what we say, yes message bills!

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    The radical right legislates for the tea party, not the people.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    March 7, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Ever expanding government will lead to bankruptcy and then even the very responsible suffer. Utah needs to think long and hard before accepting more government handouts because there are always strings attached. Obamacare or the deceitful moniker affordable care act will quicken the bankruptcy of our great country. I think we have all seen how Greece has responded.

  • JustAnotherBrat west valley city, UT
    March 7, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    Actually, MidwestMom and Matt4226 are the ones who are right. The easiest way to lower costs is to insure everyone so the insured aren't paying for the uninsured. It is working, for the honest companies anyway, for the first time ever our health care costs did not rise AT ALL. Many say theirs did but that is from companies knowing many people expected the worse through their ignorance and took advantage of making a quick buck. Mandates are in place for a reason, they have been proven necessary. These mandates protect the people from the crooked, build better information pools and help is more ways to count. People who scream about mandates are usually the lazy or the crooked who don't like being able to slack off. Our legislators show an extreme laxk of care for it's citizens and that needs to change.

  • RN4moms Bountiful, UT
    March 7, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Medicaid is the most inefficient program. The waste that goes into administration and implementation of this money-guzzler should deter expansion. They can't handle the load they have and there's little accountability for wasted time and duplication. To expand this program as it is would be absolute insanity. Just a few problems: Unless you have regular paystubs (as opposed to self-employed) it is a nightmare to "prove" eligibility. They also want documentation with specific forms (think DL requirements here) that are sometimes impossible. You can't speak to one individual; just whomever answers after the 40-75 minute wait (assuming you have a phone or unlimited minutes), then each rep gives different answers and requirements. When time to requalify, they will ask for the same things all over again including documentation of assets long gone such as a previous car. Paperwork is lost/benefits denied requiring closure of case, then re-opening case (waste!). Turnaround time for them is generous but for the applicant, very restritive and maybe impossible if they have no mail service. Forget it if you are divorcing with children, or ESL, or lacking in determination and perseverance. Fix the broken system before trying to expand.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 7, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    To "Midwest Mom" you are wrong. Overall the US has the most responsive medical system in the world in addition to having the best access to the most modern equipment. We have the highest cancer survival rates, and if you remove accidental deaths, we have he highest life expectancy in the world.

    To "matt4226" an easier way to lower costs is to cut the number of mandates. Right now there are over 2000 mandates on insurance companies. That is up from just a few hundred in 1980. Don't you think that there may be some correlation between the number of mandates and the cost of insurance?

  • matt4226 Holladay, UT
    March 7, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    It is unfortunate that our legislative body, both at the state and federal level spend so much time fighting over how to provide affordable access to health insurance and manage to ignore the 500 lb gorilla which is the cost of health care in the United States.

    Time Magazine recently ran a special report titled "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us". This is a very informative report on the exploding costs of medical care in the US. It provides examples of people who didn't have insurance and how much they were billed for their services. The article then goes on to show how much the hospital bills Medicare for those same services and the difference is astonishing.

    For me the most disturbing part of the article is how much the CEOs of non-profit hospitals are paid which in some cases exceeds $5 mil a year.

    If costs continue to rise as they have we will find that even expensive insurance plans will cover less and less and we will have to pay more out-of-pocket for our health care.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    March 7, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    If Rudedog was serious about controlling the cost of healthcare, he would be in favor of the Medicaid expansion, or better still, a single payer system. The World Health Organization shows that Americans pay the most in the world, yet do not cover all of our citizens for that amount and by far do not have the best outcomes. Medicare and Medicaid control for the cost of treatment while still allowing hospitals a 6% markup. Not a bad deal for them and by covering their costs, the hospitals should not be dumping that expense onto their insured customers. But then, as Rudedog has found, insurance companies and hospitals pretty much do what they want. If the health care industry were truly businesses, then they would post their prices and let us compare before we consume.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    March 7, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    Rudedog is wrong. Hospitals can turn people away. When my husband needed eye surgery at the Mayo clinic, we had to pay up front, before they would do the operation that saved his eyesight. If we had not had access to that money, he would be blind today. When we lived in Texas, twenty years ago, you had to pay at least a portion, up front, before you could receive services. That policy is still in practice today. To advocate for the poor to just go to the emergency room implies that you expect them to steal the hospital's services. The bitter truth is that the infamous "death panels" are already in place for many who cannot afford access to health care. If you don't like the Affordable Health Care Act, then you should have been involved in an alternate solution. Otherwise, the "right to life" ends for many, at the door to medical services.

  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    March 7, 2013 6:57 a.m.

    Utah needs the Medicaid Expansion!

    Utah doesn't need all the grandstanding that some of these legislators are doing. They are simply wasting time crafting and arguing these "message bills" rather than focusing their efforts on bills that can really make a difference in the lives of Utahns.

  • Rudedog Pleasant Grove, Utah
    March 7, 2013 5:32 a.m.

    I think the legislator needs to send a message to Washington that socialized medicine will not be agreed to in Utah. It is that simple, besides no hospital will refuse a patient, regardless of their ability to pay, I know- my Insurance goes up each year and this year WAY more than ever.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    March 7, 2013 12:06 a.m.

    My wife and I decided to accept government money to help us get 36-40 hrs/week nursing care for our severely handicapped son who has both Down's Syndrome and cerebral palsy. We had to apply for Medicaid for this, in order to qualify for help. We now have sanity in our lives again. Otherwise, we would get only 36 hrs/month, because I am considered to make too much money, (ha, ha, yeah, right). Our son is now 20 years old. I don't know what we would do without it. Well-meaning home teachers and visiting teachers would never have the time to even come close to meeting our needs, as much as they would sincerely try.
    Needless to say, through tax payer money, via Medicaid, we have been "blessed". Take advantage of it Utah. We sure did. Reap the blessings now. We feel it comes from God.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    March 6, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    Just when I thought the legislature couldn't possibly be any dumber, they go and do something like this... and totally redeem themselves!

    Dumb & Dumber, 1994